U.S. Air Force F-15C crashes in Virginia

104th Fighter Wing F-15C crashed earlier today in in Virginia’s Augusta County.

A pilot is still missing after a 104th Fighter Wing F-15C jet went down during a cross country mission.

At approximately 9:05 a.m. LT on Aug. 27, radio contact with an F-15C was lost as the unarmed aircraft was flying over the Shenandoah Valley Virginia. According to the 104th FW Press Release, the pilot flying the Eagle aircraft reported an inflight emergency prior to radio contact being lost.

The aircraft crashed in a remote, wooded area not far from the Virginia-West Virginia border. Even though the status of the pilot is still unknown, there are unverified reports by witnesses that saw an ejection and subsequent chute.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. What kind of equipment is typically included in a jettisoned seat pack?

    • Usually seat survival kits have a radio, locator beacon, strobe light, flares, compass, signal mirror, and a variety of survival equipment like string, fish hooks, and matches.

    • A small rations kit with water for about a day or two. Survival blanket. Critically it also contains a AN/PRQ-7A radio/GPS unit. The radios in the survival packs are constantly tested and maintained. Also, my wife pointed this out, he likely had a common cellphone with him. Since this was simply a ferry flight I wouldn’t be surprised if the pilot had a cellphone with him. The weather in the area the aircraft crashed was very mild last night. Exposure to the elements would not have been an issue for a healthy adult. What is an issue, is that if the pilot ejected the aircraft at the reported flight altitude of 30,000 to 40,000 feet then he would have had to deal with a high altitude ejection. Take this all into account and it does not look good.

      • The other problem is that the pilot (may have) ejected over a heavily wooded area. Parachuting into trees is not something you want to have to do.

  2. the problem is where he crashed there is no cellular reception and it is part of a radio exclusion zone.

  3. Unfortunately the pilot did not survive. From the Boston Herald: “The intense search for a Massachusetts Air National Guard pilot whose fighter jet crashed in a remote area of western Virginia came to a grim end last night as 
authorities announced the pilot was dead. […] a rescue team reached the crash site yesterday in a heavily wooded area. The pilot was found dead inside the wreckage about 5 p.m. and it did not appear that he ejected. “(http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2014/08/officials_say_body_of_pilot_in_jet_crash_has_been_found)

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